This past August I attended the eTail East Conference, which is a week jam-packed with workshops, speakers and networking events.
Not only did I meet a lot of people in the retail and e-commerce space, but I had the opportunity to learn about the direction marketing is headed. Now I could go on for days about all the interesting topics I learned at the conference, but for now you’re going to get my top three takeaways.
- Marketing has touchpoints: This was mentioned a few times throughout the conference. On average, there’s six touchpoints before someone buys something and 90% of consumers move from device to device before they make a purchase. Many retailers assume that the last click deserves the conversion created. However, we need to set up various attribution models. We need to remember that marketing and sales are correlating and work hand-in-hand, and all efforts work together to create a shopping experience for the consumer.
- Artificial Intelligence is key: By 2020, 80% of customer interaction will be with an AI, and 72% of consumers expect you to know what they want. This is where AI comes into play, allowing you to create a customer experience that is personalized. Today, various retail sites ask you a few questions before you begin shopping. This allows their algorithm to create a personalized shopping experience that brings the product and store to you and personalizes you email and ad placement. There are so many capabilities when it comes to AI and they continue to rollout more every day.
- Understand the customer journey: This is the most important lesson (if you only take one thing from the blog this is it). We all know the end goal is a conversion. Well, this is where you can start your journey and move backwards with numerical and personal data. Balance that underlying big data and customize it to get to know each customer on that close level, because these work hand-in-hand. Truly understanding the customer’s needs, wants, desires and individual experience will allow you to create the best store and experience for everyone. Act like you are the store sales associate helping the customer with their own shopping experience.
We are in a new age where the digital and retail spaces are ever changing. It’s important to try new things and gain insight wherever you can. Take the big data, personalization, touch points and AI opportunities to achieve a great e-commerce experience.